Oh, good to hear! I’d never met anyone other than my HS best friend who even knew about the game, but it somehow now really makes sense it would be a cult classic. Gonna try and dig up some old reviews now.
I love Final Fantasy XIII. I’ve played through it like twice at this point and I’m planning on playing through it again after 2017 stops assaulting me with good games.
the laws system in final fantasy tictacs advance is Good, Actually, and the game overall is better than either A2 or the original tactics. @ me not, lest ye suffer the mummy’s curse
The only thing infinite has going for it is Columbia and maybe Elizabeth, everything else is messy.
Assassin’s Creed Unity.
Yes, it had bugs. But they amounted to a few seconds in a 25 hour game. And they were worth enduring to run around Revolutionary-era Paris. While they made some strange decisions on which factions would be Assassin or Templar, Arno and Elise were pretty good characters.
I actually started FF Tactics Advance for the first time yesterday and don’t really have a problem with the Laws system? All it does is force you to interact with and learn each job. Unless something changes later on and it becomes unmanageable I don’t really see anything wrong with it.
Cowards and Fools complained of it because of later stages where it starts throwing two and then three laws at a time at you, and they can combine in strange ways to make battles much more difficult than they would be otherwise, when actually the game is at its best when you’re forbidden to use the “fight” command or any skills and you need to work out a way to win with just magic and reaction commands
The big issue is that they keep adding more laws per encounter and some of them are things like not being able to damage opponents.
The law system is cool in theory but janky in actual practice by the end. Though I do think with some adjustments it would be cool and I do quite like that game on the whole
Every time I bring this up I find it’s less true than I think, but for me, it’s Sonic Unleashed
A lot of people like to focus on the things Sonic Unleashed does wrong, and there’s quite a few things. It can be a grindy collect-a-thon, there are these really protracted God-of-War-lite combat stages where you turn in to a Werewolf (long story), etc.
But I feel like some of those reactions are mainly people reacting to the Sonic franchise as a whole. They’re letting fatigue from worse games influence one that, even when it’s at its own worst, isn’t actually so bad. A lot of people crap on the game really, really hard and I just don’t think it deserves it.
And when Sonic Unleashed does get something right? Oh man, does it ever get it right. Sonic Unleashed’s “Daytime” stages became the foundation for Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations, and the upcoming Sonic Forces. Except Sonic Unleashed is still better than all of those games (well, jury’s still out on Forces, I guess) – there’s a passion and an inspiration behind Sonic Unleashed’s level design that those other games lack, leaving them feeling a little hollow and Unleashed bursting with personality.
It also helps that Sonic Unleashed gives the player no quarter. The daytime stages in Unleashed are insanely demanding. Some would say this game goes a little too fast, leaning in the direction of pure trial-and-error memorization. I think Unleashed should be treated more like a racing game – and your first time around the track is never your best. Running a good race requires practice; looking for shortcuts, finding a driving line, understanding how to properly take corners, things like that. Sonic Unleashed asks you to do all this at 600mph, on top of dealing with enemies and platforming. The end result is so intense that my first time playing a stage like Arid Sands (linked above), I had to walk away from the game because my hands were actually, physically shaking from the stress of it all.
Sonic Colors nor Sonic Generations ever managed to do that. If anything, Colors and Generations are Sonic Team trying (and I think maybe even failing) to make the Sonic Unleashed racing formula more easily digestible for the main stream. And, well, I personally think that’s a huge bummer, because I crave another game that respects me and my abilities as much as Sonic Unleashed’s daytime stages did.
Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness. Yes, it was half-finished and full of bugs. But I played it on PS2 which apparently was a lot more playable than the PC game. It’s also berated for being unnecessarily moody and dark, but I actually enjoyed it. I loved the Enochian magic story and the central European setting for a change. The story was badly executed but digging through the game files and later when I and some other fans got in contact with the writers, it revealed such an imaginative world and ambitious lore. It’s a shame the game was rushed out and never saw any sequels.
Bioshock 2 may actually be better than Bioshock.
As a big fan of the first five tomb raiders, I was so pumped for Angel of Darkness. I remember pre-ordering it and getting this DVD about the making of the game - Core Design had basically created this big story in which Angel of Darkness was just the first chapter. I guess after making 5 tomb raider games in 5 years, Core design got burnt out on the old Tomb Raider formula, so had finally had some time to reinvent from the ground up. But Angel of Darkness was obviously too ambitious… On the back of building this hugely successful series for the first Playstation, you can see they wanted to make something more. More story, more intrigue, more cinematic, more gameplay… more realism…
At this stage, Tomb Raider had become this kind of phenomenon, the movie with Angelina Jolie came out in 2001. I think the second movie was coming out by the time of AoD’s release in 2003. The last game for the PSOne had come out in 2000. So it seemed Core were riding this wave of hype, they had over two years to build the game, but Eidos rushed its release ahead, which definitely hurt the final product.
It was a mess of a game. Even on PS2, I had Lara fall through the floor to her death, and saved games become stuck in loading loops where I had to restart the game… They sort of had the same Tomb Raider formula at the heart but added all these systems on top of it which meant you had to go through the game in a certain way. It would have worked better if it was an adventure game but not a Tomb Raider game. I seem to remember early into the game, Lara has to get through this door but is not strong enough to open it. You had to explore the area below, search a derelict apartment, open some drawers until Lara suddenly/miraculously ‘became strong’ enough to open the door. It was so stupid considering we had the last 5 games in which she is running and jumping through all these ancient tombs and performing handstands whenever you held R1 when climbing up ledges…
It was the first Tomb Raider game to move away from that blocky isometric framework for building levels. But in so doing you kind of lost that ‘level awareness’, where you knew the capabilities of your own move set. Like for instance, all the levels of classic Tomb Raider were made on this square grid. The seasoned Tomb Raider player knew how that a regular standing jump could clear two squares easy. Three squares, you might have to grab the ledge. A four square gap would require a running jump and a ledge grab. You don’t really get that sense of planning in platforming games anymore. Especially with Uncharted’s more automated approach to climbing being the industry standard.
Apart from the art design, the one thing I truly loved about AoD was the music. It was this proper orchestral treatment that mixed in elements and cues from the original PSOne games. The music of those games will always stay with me so it’s fantastic to hear them done justice with a full orchestra.
But yeah, Angel of Darkness is one of those failed games that is fascinating to pick apart. A quintessential BAD game, but made bad for all the right reasons, a young team of designers and developers wanting to push the limits of what they could do.
Curious about the exchange you got with the writers! Can you elabourate?
“Everyone Hates it But You”
I kid. I kid. Just been one of those nights.
Real answer: The original Watch_Dogs, I guess? I hated Aiden Pierce but mostly felt like the game wanted me to. Chicago not being accurate was a stickler for folk who’ve lived/traveled there irl too, but I don’t have that frame of reference. Also, cars controlled poorly UNLESS you drove in first person, which I found to be pretty fun.
idk. It’s not perfect by any means and it deserves every criticism that was leveled at it, but I did find things to like about it.
Ratchet: Deadlocked gets a lot of flack from fans of the Ratchet & Clank series, and I’ve seen a lot of people express the opinion that it’s the worst game in the series, but it’s one of my all-time favorite games, period.
It was a huge departure from the sprawling levels of the rest of the series – which were full of hidden areas and secrets and ripe for open exploration – in favor of more linear, objective-oriented missions. I understand and even agree that in doing so, it lost a lot of the charm and sense of wonder that made the other games so appealing. But it also added full two-player co-op for the entire campaign, and it’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing a game with a friend. I may very well have hated it just as much as everyone else if I played it as a single-player game, but I’m not sure if I ever even played it on my own.
The summer I got Deadlocked, between sophomore and junior years of high school, my best friend and I must have run through the full campaign at least half a dozen times. We blew through the New Game + challenge mode over and over and leveled every weapon and item in the game as high as they could go. We had every mission practically memorized and we could take out most bosses in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. We felt like an unstoppable team of cartoonishly overpowered killing machines.
While I think Insomniac generally made the right move in taking the rest of the games in the series back to their platforming-and-puzzly roots, it still bums me out that they’ve never made another effort to revisit the excellent co-op mode that became a major part of my teenage years.
For what it’s worth, the issue with them is that (I believe) the laws are randomly deployed rather than being tied to specific maps or battles, so you can get given a law that is really inconvenient for where you are in the game (like not having “Fight” early on) or brutal against a certain group of enemies (no Fire against a bunch of ice enemies, for e.g.). The sequel, Tactics A2, addresses this by having mission-specific laws, which does result in some really unfortunate content but is generally for the best.
Still trying to figure out my game for this thread, though!
Apparently Bioshock Infinite fits into this category for me, lol. Didn’t know people hated it so much.
Another one that people despised that I really enjoyed was Evolve. I’m a big fan of asymmetrical multiplayer games as well as Half-Life mods. In college, I played a lot of The Hidden: Source (heck, I even wrote a zine about it) which eventually inspired Evolve.
Yeah, it’s a bummer that it came out at $60 and still charged for stuff. But I really liked the gameplay loop and had a lot of fun for the first few weeks. In fact, I bought my PS4 with a copy of Evolve in anticipation of a big snow storm so that I’d have something to do, so I think that helped.
Interesting. I am looking for a “new” game for my Switch and this is on my Watchlist, along with Mighty Gunvolt Burst. I rarely look at review scores etc but I did for this and that Metacritic score you speak of had put me off.
As for the main question, going back decades but I remember Tintin on the Moon for my Spectrum being derided by everyone I knew at school, but I loved it and replayed it so many times I could probably have done the levels with my eyes shut.
I also felt that Xenosaga was hated by many and I loved it, but looking online now it seems most comments are positive so maybe I was just being unreasonably defensive at the time.
Final Fantasy XIII is the best unintentional comedy ever made and I love it.
Helps that it has genuinely great combat and RPG stuff, and looks absolutely gorgeous. Honestly when it went open world near the end I just ignored it beelined for the ending so it could get back to gorgeous coridoors and bullshit cutscenes. More linear RPGs please.
I think most of it later was published through official channels during the 20 year anniversary celebrations. But a few years earlier one of my friends got a hold of the lead writer, Murti Schofield, and was allowed to pick his brain on what was supposed to be in the planned sequels. At the time we sort of had to keep it to ourselves (we being a friend group of TR fans), but I believe most of it is public now. Planned scenes included a finale of the first game in a German castle and a level proceeding it of Lara in the Black Forrest, and a second game that would take place in Cappadocia, Turkey. I think a spin-off game with second playable character Kurtis Trent was also in very early concept stages.
Murti Schofield also has a few books published, I think they’re called Shadow Histories, and they carried on a lot of the AoD-ish spirit: Enochian mysticism, Gothic horror, angels and demons and all that.
Megaman 7. i think it’s more even difficulty wise than most of the NES games and the artwork is really expressive and fun. plus there’s plenty of secrets and gadgets to find. people don’t like it because it doesn’t feel like the older games but i’d honestly take it over the NES games or Megaman X on most days.